More Garnett & Helfrich Trouble


Garnett & Helfrich Capital is an apt name for the San Mateo-based venture buyout firm, because Garnett & Helfrich are about all that’s left.

You might remember that the G&H recently lost director Mike Guthrie to Symphony Technology Group, which helped prompt co-founder Terry Garnett to cancel a planned move to London. The next to go was Betty Hung, who had been hired just six months earlier as vice president of portfolio company operations (she’s now with Vista Equity Partners). I reported yesterday that G&H had removed the “Team” page from its website, and it soon after removed some backdoor/direct URL access that I cited.

Now comes word that director Mark Barrenechea also is gone, which leaves the firm with just two senior private equiteers (Garnett and David Helfrich). No wonder it postponed fund-raising for a second vehicle that was expected to target between $700 million and $750 million. A firm spokeswoman declined to comment, even though she previously had hyped Barrenechea in the aftermath of Guthrie’s departure. Again, uh oh.

Some readers have suggested that the wedge issue is firm economics, of which Garnett and Helfrich receive the majority. But a source close to the firm insists that is not what caused the departures, since everyone knew the arrangement going in. “Their names are on the door, so it’s not accurate to say people were surprised by the level of economics or control they have,” the source says. “They could have named the firm after a lake or a tree, but they didn’t.”